Hong Kong’s Waste Charging Scheme Aims to Save the Planet and Money
November 20, 2023
In an effort to promote waste reduction and contribute to environmental conservation, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) in Hong Kong will implement charges for municipal solid waste (MSW) starting from April 1 next year. The EPD aims to encourage the public to minimise waste generation and make a positive impact on the planet while also saving money.
Under the new rules, there are two modes of charging for waste disposal. The first involves charges for bags and labels, which will apply to MSW from various premises such as residential buildings, commercial and industrial buildings, village houses, street-level shops, and institutional premises. Residents of these premises will be required to purchase designated bags for waste disposal, with prices ranging from HK$0.30 to HK$11, depending on the bag’s size. Additionally, larger items that cannot fit in designated bags must be affixed with a designated label priced at HK$11 each.
The second charging mode, known as the ‘gate fee,’ applies to waste collected by private waste collectors without rear compactors and disposed of at waste disposal facilities. This mode calculates charges based on the weight of the waste and mainly affects commercial and industrial premises, as well as oversized or irregularly shaped waste from residential buildings.
The EPD’s Green Outreach team has been actively promoting waste reduction and recycling in the community since mid-August. They have been visiting housing estates, residential buildings, and recycling collection points across the city, providing information about the new charging rules and encouraging communities to adopt eco-friendly practices.
The implementation of MSW charging is seen as an effective policy tool based on the principle of the ‘polluter pays.’ It not only drives enterprises and the public to adopt sustainable practices but also supports the development of recycling and related industries creating green job opportunities.
To further enhance waste reduction and recycling at the community level, the EPD has launched the GREEN@COMMUNITY recycling network, covering all 18 districts in Hong Kong. The network can now collect at least nine common types of recyclables, making it easier for residents to participate in recycling efforts.
As the waste charging scheme approaches, it is crucial for citizens to maintain clean and dry recyclables to prevent contamination. Moreover, it’s important to note that rubber and silicone items should not be placed in plastic recycling bins as they are not considered plastic materials.
By implementing the waste charging scheme, Hong Kong aims to foster a sustainable environment, promote responsible waste management, and create a greener future for all.
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